Sarasota County Residential Mortgage Foreclosures

Contested and Uncontested Hearings

Requirements and Information

December 2023

Requirements & Information

Visit the Foreclosure page for more information regarding Residential Mortgage Foreclosures.

General Information

Local Rules & Standards of Professionalism

All attorneys must follow the Local Rules and the Twelfth Circuit Standards of Professionalism.

Pursuant to Rule of Civil Procedure l.510(c) - Summary Judgment, the moving party shall serve a copy of the motion at least 20 days prior to hearing and also within that period shall serve copies of any additional evidence in support of the motion not already filed with the court. Final hearings will be cancelled for noncompliance with this rule.

Administrative Orders

Compliance with the Administrative Orders regarding Residential Mortgage Foreclosures is Mandatory. 

Scheduling Non-Jury Trials (NJT)

To Set a Non-Jury Trial, you must prepare a Notice for Non-Jury Trial. This Notice must be e-filed and appear on the docket. Submit the Notice to the office of the assigned Judge pursuant to their requirements. The Court will issue an Order setting the trial by Zoom with specific instructions. Trial dates can be found on the Sarasota tab of the Foreclosure page.

In the interest of judicial economy, the Court does not hold case management or status conferences as to residential foreclosure filings. Trials are set on a first come first serve basis and one day a month is set aside for foreclosure trials.


This Court adheres strictly to Rule of Judicial Administration 2.545(e) and Rule of Civil Procedure 1.460. All motions/stipulations for continuance must be signed by the parties/clients. Counsel and all parties must be prepared to proceed with the trial if the continuance is denied.

Please Note: Due to the amount of judicial labor spent by the Court and Clerk's Office to prepare and facilitate the foreclosure trial docket, any stipulation or motion for continuance e-filed and presented to the Court less than fourteen (14) days prior to the start of trial, requires counsel and the parties to appear at the scheduled trial and the motion/stipulation will be heard at that time.

Scheduling Foreclosure Hearings

Failure to schedule a hearing on the appropriate docket and follow the mandatory guidelines below will result in the cancellation of the scheduled hearing.

Referral to Magistrate Ellis

The following matters shall be scheduled before Magistrate Bradley Ellis, unless a party e-files a written objection: all motions directed to the pleadings, discovery, service of process, and arbitration (more detailed list below). The scheduling attorney must prepare and forward an "Order of Referral" with the appropriate number of copies and stamped/addressed envelopes to the assigned judge for signature, unless an Order has previously been entered. If an objection to the Magistrate is e-filed, motion hearings should then be set on the assigned division judge's Mortgage Foreclosure calendar.

Scheduling Hearings with Magistrate Ellis

Hearings should be scheduled through the Judicial Automated Calendaring System (JACS). See Magistrate Ellis' requirements for further information.

Motions Heard by Magistrate Ellis

The following is a list of motions that should be scheduled with Magistrate Ellis. In addition to discovery-related motions and motions directed to the pleadings, there is a list of miscellaneous motions that Magistrate Ellis will to hear.

The list below is not all inclusive. If you have a motion not listed below that is either discovery related or directed to a pleading, that motion should be scheduled in front of the magistrate. If an objection to the Magistrate is e-filed, the pending motion should be set on the assigned judge's calendar.

Discovery-Related Motions

Compel, Contempt re: Discovery Order (other than ex-parte), Extend Time, Objections to Interrogatories, Objections to Production, Protective Order, Quash Sanctions (re Discovery Matters), Any Additional Discovery-Related Motions Not Listed

Motions Directed to Pleadings

Add/Drop Parties (including substitution of parties), Amend, Default, Default Final Judgment, Dismiss, Intervene, and Judgment on Pleadings, More Definite Statement, Strike, and Any Additional Motion Directed to Pleadings Not Listed

Miscellaneous Motions

Abate, Compel Arbitration, Confirm Arbitration, Compel Mediation, Discharge, Lis Pendens, Quash Service, Sever, Transfer Jurisdiction/Venue, Vacate/Set Aside (On Non-Trial related issues.

Motions not Heard by Magistrate

Vacate Final Judgment, Amend Final Judgment, Writ of Possession, and any trial related motions (includes motions in limine, strike witness/exhibit lists, continue trial, etc.).

Scheduling Hearings with Assigned Division Judge

Division Judge Foreclosure JACS

This calendar is reserved for motions such as Vacate Final Judgment, Summary Judgment, Writ of Possession, Exceptions to Magistrate's Recommended Order, and any trial related motions.

Hearings are set on the foreclosure calendar in JACS. Hearing timeslots are for 5, 10, 15 and 30 minutes. If a party believes their motion requires more than 30 minutes, please provide a copy of the motion to the assigned division Judicial Assistant with a cover letter requesting the amount of hearing time needed. The assigned judge will review the motion and determine the amount of hearing time required.

Mortgage Foreclosure UMCs:

There is a Uniform Motion Calendar (UMC) available each week reserved for uncontested or stipulated matters. A schedule of UMC dates is available on Civil Division page. Foreclosure cases may utilize any UMC date.

Emergency Hearings

Any emergency motion must be provided to the assigned judge's judicial assistant via e-mail, with a cover letter requesting the amount of hearing time requested, as well as a certification that states the Movant has contacted opposing counsel/party in a good faith effort to resolve the issue. The Movant should call the judicial assistant to confirm availability of a judge to review the motion. The judicial assistant does not provide emergency hearing time without a judge's authorization. The assigned division or duty judge will review the motion and determine whether or not an expedited hearing will be granted.

Motions for Rehearing, Reconsideration, New Trial

Do not set these for hearing: All Motions for Rehearing, Reconsideration or for New Trial, are to be submitted directly to the judge that originally heard the issue along with a cover letter. The motion must be detailed. The judge will first review the motion to determine whether a hearing is required.

Failure to schedule a hearing on the appropriate docket and follow the mandatory guidelines above will result in the cancellation of the scheduled hearing.

Cancellation of Hearings

The scheduling attorney should cancel a hearing on JACS, however the automated system will not authorize a cancellation when it results in short notice to the parties (usually seven days). If unable to cancel on JACS, call the Division judicial assistant, e-file a Notice of Cancellation, and notice all parties via e-mail as soon as practicable.

Telephonic Appearances Not Permitted

Due to the case volume on the court's foreclosure dockets, telephonic appearances are not allowed on any foreclosure proceeding in the 12th Judicial Circuit pursuant to Administrative Order 2009-2.1. Parties must appear on camera for Zoom hearings unless unable to do so due to a lack of technology.

Requirement to Electronically File Pleadings (E-Filing)

General Information

All pleadings in foreclosure actions are required to be electronically filed with the Clerk. Do not send copies of motions to the Court without first confirming that your pleadings have been successfully filed through the E-Portal. Proposed orders are not e-filed. At this time, the Clerk of Court does not have an electronic judge sign application. Proposed orders, along with copies and envelopes for conforming should be sent to the assigned division judge. Failure to comply with e-fling requirements will result in the return of your pleadings.

Original Documents

Original documents such as promissory notes and mortgages must be delivered to the Clerk of Court, accompanied by a Notice of Filing. Copies of original documents must be included in the party's e-filing submission.

To request an original promissory note and mortgage for final hearing, you must either e-file a request or place a call to the Clerk's Office intake team at (941) 861-7788.
Ex Parte Motions Submitted to the Court

Motions and orders may be delivered to the division judges for review only if the parties have entered into a fully executed stipulation, if the order is agreed, if the defendant(s) has been defaulted, if no answer/response to the complaint has been filed, or if service has not been perfected on all parties. If the motion does not meet these requirements, it must be scheduled for hearing before the Magistrate or assigned division judge.

Requirement to E-file Documents Prior to Final Hearing/Trial

The following documents must be e-filed upon securing hearing time on the JACS foreclosure docket or securing a trial date:

  • Mortgage Foreclosure Summary Judgment Checklist
  • Uniform Final Judgment of Foreclosure
  • Copies of original documents
  • Affidavit of Fees and Costs
  • Certificate of Sale
  • Certificate of Title
  • Certificate of Disbursement

Documents required to be emailed to court for Final Hearing

Please email a proposed final judgement to the division email in which your case is assigned.

Conforming and Mailing of Final Judgments following Final Hearing/Trial

Plaintiff's counsel shall send the appropriate number of pre-addressed stamped envelopes to be used for mailing copies of the Uniform Final Judgment prior to the hearing.

Attorney Appearing for Hearing/Trial Must Re-Certify Checklist

The attorney appearing at the final hearing/trial on behalf of the plaintiff must re-certify to the Court on the record that the Mortgage Foreclosure Summary Judgment Checklist is accurate and complete.

Documents required to be provided to the Clerk Prior to Foreclosure Sale Date

Plaintiff's attorney must complete and submit Notices of Sale to the newspaper and file the Notice with the Clerk, with affidavits, no later than the day preceding the sale.

Cancelling and/or Rescheduling Foreclosure Sale Dates

Supreme Court form l.996 (c) Motion to Cancel and Reschedule Foreclosure Sale should be used.

To cancel a foreclosure sale on short notice (24 hours or less prior to the sale), first e-file the motion with the Clerk of Court, withe-service to all parties, and call the Judicial Assistant to advise an e-mail with the motion and proposed order is forthcoming. Foreclosure sales will not be rescheduled when the short notice e-mail procedure is used. Before the sale can be reset, the moving party must mail the motion, proposed order, and provide adequate copies for conforming and stamped, addressed envelopes for mailing to the assigned judge's chambers. Please be advised that just e-filing an Emergency Motion to Cancel Foreclosure Sale does NOT cancel the sale. An Order must be entered. The Movant should check the clerk's docket and foreclosure sale website to confirm an order has been entered and the property removed from the foreclosure sale database.

Office Information